Buying your first home is one of (if not) the biggest financial commitments you will ever make. Stay well informed of what is involved so you don’t make any rash decisions.
Good financial planning and loan advice can save thousands of dollars off your loan and help you own your home sooner! Whether you need a home or investment loan, a Count Adviser has access to a superior panel of approved lenders who can offer competitive quotes and products to meet your specific financial needs.
- Key Considerations
- First home owners grant
- Tips to pay off your home loan faster
- Fixed or variable interest?
- Hidden home loan costs
- Home insurance tips
Can you afford to buy a house?
A credit provider must ensure you can afford to repay a loan without suffering undue financial hardship before lending you any money. The total amount that you can borrow is determined by three factors:
- The value of the property you intend to purchase;
- The funds you use towards the purchase; and
- Your borrowing capacity or “serviceability”. Serviceability is your ability to meet loan repayments, and will depend on your income and existing financial commitments. You will need to provide evidence of a continuous stable income.
You must have a budget!
Budgeting your income carefully and understanding your spending habits will help you make regular loan repayments and own your home that much sooner!
The First Home Owner $7,000 Grant was introduced by the Federal Government on 1 July 2000, as a means to compensate first home buyers or builders for the costs associated with GST.
While the First Home Owner Grant is available nationally, it is administered by the State Governments, so specific details may vary from State to State.
The grant is a one-off $7,000 payment, paid to you when you become entitled to possession of your home under a contract or purchase (usually on settlement). If you are building a first home, the grant is paid when the residence is ready for occupation.
If you are eligible for a First Home Owner Grant, the money is unlikely to make a significant difference to your home loan application – the funds are not usually treated as personal savings when the lender evaluates your savings history.
The faster you do this, the earlier you can start investing your hard earned money elsewhere. You can also use our various home loan calculators to assist planning.
- Select a home loan that meets your needs. While the rate is important, it is more important to have an appropriate level of flexibility and function.
- Pay off as much as you can, as often as you can.
- Avoid loans that penalise you for making extra repayments.
- Avoid ‘honeymoon’ loans that revert to a higher rate after the ‘honeymoon’ period is over.
- Avoid loans with high exit costs.
- Deal with reputable organisations.
This really depends on your current financial situation. Your Count Adviser can help you select the right type of loan, building in the cost of every-day living to determine how much you can afford to repay each month.
There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing fixed and variable interest loans, and they are assessed on a per client basis.
Your Count Adviser can help you select either a:
fixed interest loan;
variable interest loan; or a
loan comprising of part-fixed / part-variable interest.
Remember however, that if you elect to split your loan into part fixed / part variable, make sure you don’t incur two monthly loan maintenance fees instead of one.
There are many costs associated with taking out a home loan, which don’t relate to the price of the property.
These hidden costs include:
Lenders’ fees, including loan application and establishment fees;
Government charges including stamp duty on property purchase and mortgage, and title fees;
Legal expenses; and
Lender’s mortgage insurance
If you can’t repay your loan, the lender repossesses your house and sells it to repay the loan. If the sale of your house doesn’t cover what you’ve borrowed and an amount is still owed, lender’s mortgage insurance will cover the gap. Lender’s mortgage insurance covers the lender, not you!
If you need to borrow more than 80 percent of the total value of your property, most lenders will require you to pay lender’s mortgage insurance. It is usually charged as a one-off premium payment. The higher the percentage borrowed, the higher the lender’s mortgage insurance premium will be.
Mortgage protection insurance
Mortgage protection insurance covers your loan repayments in the event that you are unable to make them.
Count does not recommend mortgage protection insurance because it only covers your loan repayments. According to our research, in most cases, income protection insurance is much better value. Income protection insurance provides up to 75% of your salary in the event that you are unable to work and covers all your expenses – not just your loan payments.
Home and contents insurance
Home and contents insurance protects you from loss or damage to your home or possessions. The cost of insuring your home depends on many things, including the structure, the location and the existing security (security doors, alarm etc).
Home insurance covers the building only – not the land. Contents insurance covers your possessions listed in the policy.
If you have a mortgage on a property, building insurance is compulsory. Contents insurance is not compulsory, although it is generally a good idea and should be reviewed each year as you purchase new contents for your home.
*WA & ACT Members must be licensed under the Finance Brokers’ Control Act to provide Residential, Business lending and chattel mortgage finance